Candidate Promises Statue of Free Cheese in Norman, OK

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The People's Cube in the American Thinker

By Oleg Atbashian


If David Kempf wins the mayoral race on April 2, a bronze statue of Free Cheese based on the People's Cube design is going to be built in Oklahoma's third largest city, Norman. There's no reason why he shouldn't, since he just received our official endorsement, which he also announced on his website.

Our relationship started after we noticed incoming web traffic from David's campaign website. We traced the link to a section dedicated to Free Cheese. In a humorous way, the candidate for Mayor of Norman described his attitude towards free government cheese, which he defined as "the extraction of taxes from fellow citizens -- from one's neighbors up and down the street -- to support one's habit or business." In contrast to his opponents, who enjoy and promote many flavors of what they claim is free government cheese, David would like to focus on the essential services the government was contracted to supply, leaving the cheese business to the local independent dairy operators.

The page had a link to a discussion of free cheese on the People's Cube, with testimonies from several immigrants from the former Soviet Union, all of whom agreed that "free cheese can only be found in a mouse trap" -- something they had learned from personal life experiences.

We added a playful comment to the thread with a link to David's campaign, extending our support and asking in return only that he, if elected, issue an executive order requiring all citizens of Norman to read the People's Cube on a daily basis and maybe erect a gigantic mousetrap on the central square as a reminder of the dangers of free cheese.

This started an entirely new discussion among our members. Shortly afterwards, David Kempf emailed us with gratitude for our support and a promise that he would propose to the citizens a bronze mousetrap sculpture modeled after our drawing, paid for out of the generous public funding of the Norman Arts Council who are currently spending taxpayers' money anyway, but on much less meaningful projects.

This will not be our first brush with public statuary projects. Last month we were contacted by a board member of the Grantham Museum in England, who asked for permission to use our design in their campaign for a Margaret Thatcher statue in Grantham, Lincolnshire, where the Prime Minister was born and raised. Our image of the Iron Lady, captioned as "Iron," was part of a series of portraits parodying Obama's "Hope" poster; it has been a popular selling item at our online store, especially to customers in the United Kingdom.

Speaking of the arts, the single biggest influence in the city of Norman is the University of Oklahoma, which also accounts for a vibrant cultural life. Having tried himself in the arts, David Kempf moved on to being a businessman, a software architect, and currently the president and CEO of Port 40, an Oklahoma corporation producing cutting edge computer software. David still supports and spends time with local artists and musicians, and has well-formed opinions on the issue of government funding of the arts, which happen to coincide with ours.

He very eloquently lays them out on his website:

Do you support the public funding of the Arts?

Let's re-phrase the question into something meaningful to the most people:

Do you support the extraction of taxes from people (ultimately, at the point of a gun) to pay certain people chosen by government bureaucrats to display, exhibit, or perform their art?

If I were you, and I were someone trying to make a living from my art, I would be highly offended at the suggestion that the government knows what good art is.

I would be highly offended by the suggestion that selected artists should get government handouts to promote their activities over mine.

The citizens of Norman do not trust their government officials to even set utility rates: all increases must be approved by a vote of the people. Why would we trust the government to dictate the art we promote or consume?

A review of history easily reveals that government supervised artists are indistinguishable from propagandists. If you value your freedom as an artist, you ought to flee from their employment offers with all haste.

Most artists strive to be a corporation of one: they desire to give voice to their own thoughts and emotions. If you don't believe the government should favor one corporation over another in a free-market system, then you shouldn't stand for your tax dollars being spent promoting your artistic competitors over you.

According to Thomas Jefferson, "To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."

The only way to avoid all these pitfalls is by the private funding of artists and the arts.

Apparently, if our Free Cheese statue is ever going to be built, it will be with the consent of the taxpayers, from the existing budget of the local Arts Council. According to Kempf, he has been in hot debate with the Council members who are avid supporters of the public funding of the Arts. "They should be pleased," he adds with irony. David promises that he will propose to the City Council that they erect our statue whether or not he gets elected Mayor.

A successful businessman and a computer scientist trained in logic to solve difficult problems, David Kempf believes in limited government and reads The People's Cube.

The incumbent Mayor of Norman, on the other hand, is a socialist-leaning ideologue with a left-wing academic background: in other words, a free-cheese-peddling mousetrap operator.

If I were a resident of Norman, I'd rather have a symbolic bronze mousetrap housed in the public square, as opposed to a real one built around us, as we are being lured with false promises of free cheese.

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David Kempf already created a postcard-shaped handout based on our image:


A story about building the Free Cheese statue appeared this morning in the American Thinker and then in the Washington Times. And these are election signs I prepared for David based on his ideas:






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I think that statue would also make a great tomb or sarcophagus.

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The incumbent Mayor of Norman, on the other hand, is a socialist-leaning ideologue with a left-wing academic background: in other words, a free-cheese-peddling mousetrap operator

This almost sorta sounds like this is a bad thing.

Now about this David Kempf feller, it's obvious no matter how you slice it, that he is just really up to no gouda here by challenging such a fine progressive specimen of a Mayor.

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I think that statue would also make a perfect Ark, in which they could store the Affordable Care Act and the American Recovery Act and all those other acts and exec orders Obama signed to give all of us Free Cheese™ of one kind or another!

It'd be like a radio...a transmitter for getting free stuff!

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Red Square wrote:The incumbent Mayor of Norman, on the other hand, is a socialist-leaning ideologue with a left-wing academic background: in other words, a free-cheese-peddling mousetrap operator.
Wait ... why are we not supporting Comrade Incumbent Mayor? Where is Obama's Organizing for Action? Will no one donate $3.00 to re-elect this lovely progressive cheese re-distributor?

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Good, good - govt. cheese attracts rats votes!
Our master's plan is working brilliantly.
Soon the last remnants of the Old Republic will have been swept away.


What? No nachos to go with it? This is improper vote buying at its worst. The meaning of "public art" is misconstrued. It's publicly funded. After that, the public is usually assaulted when they have to look at it.

Behind the courthouse downtown there is a series of steel walls by Richard Serra we call Scraphenge. The horsey set lead by Emilie Pulitzer and the late Bob Orchard saddled the city with this junk, and they didn't care that the winos threw up and pissed on it. But when we made fun of it and ridiculed it, they demanded we shut up and be criminalized if we didn't. Why should we? We were forced to pay for it by the Snob Collective.

One Sunday we tried to make use of it by playing a pick up game of Wiffleball inside the thing and got run out by the cops. We complained because it was supposedly put there "for the public." So what's the problem? We were told. "This is Art. Not a stadium." Therefore, the only acceptable "public" response is their default one of admiration and "good taste." Our betters had spoken. "You will look upon it and Like it. Or else!

These days there are other things to look at in the new sculpture park just east of Scraphenge. Next time you come to our fair city which also possesses the world's largest croquet hoop, walk along Chestnut St. until you come to a statue of a man in pink. That's to Tomb of the Unknown Lounge Lizard. Just don't leave your empties.

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Dear Friend,

The Democrat mayor of Norman, Oklahoma is facing the challenge of her life! Someone has dared to run against her and threaten the principles of free government cheese that we hold so dear.

For just $3.00, slightly more than the cost of a package of Kraft Singles American Sliced Cheese, you can help Organizing for Action defeat her opponent and keep that free cheese coming. Also see if you can move to Norman, Oklahoma and vote for her.

Together we can send a message that free cheese is an inalienable right of all Americans!


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Image Red, My Russian is worse than my Arabic, is it at least a fair translation?

Image I do hope they included the link and full attribution to the People's Cube!

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I do have to admit this sculpture sure would be a vast improvement over just putting up a plaque as most other towns do.


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Tovarichi wrote: Red, My Russian is worse than my Arabic, is it at least a fair translation?
I do hope they included the link and full attribution to the People's Cube!
The translation is fair (a little awkward in some places) and the attribution is to me and the attribution is to me and the Washington Times, not the Cube.

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I just received an email from David Kempf, with some pictures of the signs I designed for him. See below.

David Kempf wrote:Well Oleg, I'm sorry to say that the people of Nineveh, who could not discern between their right hand and their left hand, had more sense than the people of Norman, Oklahoma.

Rosenthal won the election with 54% of the vote.

Furthermore, the voters seem to have rejected the idea of erecting the mouse trap/free cheese sculpture. They overwhelmingly passed a 25% tax increase on their visiting friends and families via hotel/motel room taxes. I will still formally make the proposition to the City Council.

Thank you very much for your assistance. I would like very much to get to say so in person if the opportunity ever presents itself. So long as I am in Norman, should you happen through, please look me up. You are always welcome.

Attached are a couple of pics of the signs. Had 239 of them all over the city. They looked great - quite a bit better than the others out there, IMO.

God abundantly bless you and your beautiful wife,

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[img]images/clipart/Prog_Off.gif[/img] (sort of)

I feel very privileged that all of this occurred in a town named after me. Tell David I would have definitely voted for him!

--Kelly (Ivanovna) Norman (almost normal)